Middleton scores 18 in one quarter as CHS downs Enterprise

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Man, oh, man if only Alex Middleton could bottle up a three-minute stretch he had Friday night to use any time during the season.

He&8217;d be all-state. He&8217;d lead the state in scoring. He and the Cathedral Green Wave would go deep in the playoffs.

And any self-doubt he had coming into the Enterprise game, they&8217;d be long, long gone.

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In a perfect world, that&8217;d be the case. And when you put up 18 points in one quarter thanks to three 3-pointers, things are pretty much close to being perfect. Middleton sparked Cathedral in the final three minutes of the third quarter as the Wave claimed a 87-60 win over Enterprise.

The win was Cathedral&8217;s first Region 7-1A win on the season.

&8220;I&8217;ve been struggling all year shooting, especially from 3-point range,&8221; said Middleton, who finished with 23. &8220;I got one, and I guess it got my confidence up and felt comfortable. I guess I was due. I was feeling it, and they were giving me the ball and giving me open looks.&8221;

Middleton&8217;s efforts were the majority of the Green Wave&8217;s production in the third quarter, but the team picked it up to put up 33 points in the quarter and finish on a 24-2 run.

Some easy buckets came off the press &8212; including two from Middleton in six seconds &8212; while Matt Goss also hit a 3-pointer. What was a 41-38 Cathedral lead at the 3:54 mark ended up being a commanding 65-40 mark heading into the fourth quarter.

&8220;Cathedral really shot the ball well tonight,&8221; Enterprise first-year head coach Josh Bass said. &8220;(Middleton) could have been blindfolded and still hit it. They did a good job defensively and offensively. They really did well.&8221;

Everything worked on both ends for the Green Wave. Even Enterprise big man Corey Everett was called for two offensive fouls in the run before going to the bench with four fouls.

But the highlight was Middleton, who had the first 10 points in 41 seconds. At the end Enterprise was called for a 5-second violation on an in-bounds play, and Middleton took the in-bounds and canned a 3-pointer three seconds later.

&8220;He needed that,&8221; Cathedral head coach Peter Arnold said. &8220;He worked so hard on his shot in the preseason. He&8217;s been off for the last several weeks. At halftime I told him he was getting some good positions and wasn&8217;t taking shots. He needed to step up and start shooting.&8221;

At that point the momentum was well in Cathedral&8217;s favor, and its full-court press took it from there. The defensive pressure did what it hoped to do &8212; wear down Enterprise&8217;s guards and prevent the Hornets from getting it inside to Everett.

Everett returned at the start of the fourth quarter but picked up his fifth foul just over a minute in and left after scoring 23 points. Keylann Hinson put in a bucket at the 5:34 mark that put the lead at 29 at 77-48.

&8220;We wanted to keep it a half-court game,&8221; Bass said. &8220;We didn&8217;t do a good job of handling their pressure. I thought my guys did really well when they stayed in a half-court game. They really struggled when they pressed us. My guards are real young.&8221;

The press worked more as the game went on, and it kept Cathedral holding a 10-point lead for most of the first half.